Is it downsizing or just reinventing the legacy of your life? As I write this I am reminded of the conversations I have had with fellow reinventors over the past month. The interesting part of these conversations is a theme that rises to the top, even though each of these people are at different stages of their life.
First up is the young married couple with one child, a dog, and two cats who decided after living their American dream for two years, that it was really a nightmare. Now this couple did not have financial problems, but they took a look at their life and the things that they enjoyed had given way to pay for this or that at their home instead. They chose to sell their home and rent a much smaller home, save money, plan for another child, and just start living again. They love their reimagined life, but they do feel the pull of social pressure to go with the norm. Is a perceived pressure holding you back, or are you living your life?
Next, is a man nearing his sixties, choosing a working retirement in a place where as he puts it he feels at home. He did not grow up in the area, but clearly after speaking with him you can feel his happiness and contentment. His 450 square feet that is “all mine”, as he puts it, sounds like he won the lottery.
A woman in her fifties, downsizing and moving back to the state where she grew up. Her excitement about a smaller, but not less beautiful life. You can hear her optimism as she speaks of her progress and wondering what the future holds.
A family of four, our family, and life in 1000 square feet. For the first time in years planning vacations and spending afternoons poolside. No pressure to be anywhere, or anyone we are not. Decorating and tweaking a living space that is full of life and not of stress, is an exciting way to live and we are grateful that we took the leap.
We are all part of a larger trend. If where you live affects happiness, what about the way you choose to live in your space? Possessions hold a level of energy, that is released allows room for possibilities. Releasing possessions can become a habit of cleansing your space. Just as we cleanse our bodies with regular care and exercise, our homes need that as well.
A home where children understand from an early age why we take things to charity will give them power over possessions later in life. At a time when everything is about the latest and greatest toy or gadget, I find myself explaining that we need to release something to bring in something new.
We helped my mother in law with a downsizing project of her own this weekend, and she like us, was surprised at how small her new space was. Not our 1000 sq feet, but less than half of what she had before. Will she continue to purge like we have or hold on to some things? I believe that everyone’s experience of living their truth is just that – it’s theirs. What feels good to one, would be overwhelming for another.
I believe that you don’t need to join a movement, like the new minimalist movement or tiny house movement, but learn from them to find your balance. The key is to find your balance of your home. We can learn much of the minimalist movement, but take what will help you thrive and leave the rest.
Does your space allow for you to have leisure time doing the things you enjoy? Do you have time to hike, bike, read, or relax? If you feel like there is not enough time in your life for the people and the things that are important to you, it is time to take inventory.
Pretend that you are moving, and start looking around at what you are willing to move by the pound. If you feel like it is truly valuable and adding to your life, then it stays. If not – time to release it. Your life will be richer as it gets smaller, I guarantee it.